Metal coated flashlight isolated on white.We have all experienced it. One minute you are happily watching TV at home, and the next all the lights dim in the house for a second or so, and the place hits a sudden twilight (and not the sparkly vampire kind). The technical term is a brownout. But what causes them and should you be worried?

Brownouts are when the voltage that normally supplies your appliances (220V +/- 12%) suddenly drops. This is a common occurrence in acreage properties as well as during storms when branches land on powerlines a few streets away and the power company has to re-route your electric supply.

If the brownout only lasts a short time and then power is restored, there is nothing to worry about. However, if the power brownout continues, there may be a problem with your switchboard. This is where you use the highly scientific test called the sniff test. Head out to your switchboard. If you can smell electricity (it has an acrid burning sort of smell) then call as sparky ASAP. They may advise you to switch your mains power off at the board for extra safety until they get there.

Remember, don’t risk it. If you are worried that there is something wrong with your electricity at home, always call a licensed electrician to check it out for you.

Need help with brownouts? Call us!

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